Essential bar items and tools you need to create sophisticated NA cocktails!
If you are just beginning to explore the world of non-alcoholic drinks, try stocking the following essential items because they will help you create a variety of delicious and satisfying beverages:
Tonic water: Tonic water is a key bar ingredient and classic mixer that pairs well with a variety of non-alcoholic spirits and botanicals. Tip: As a standalone, the quinine bitterness is also super refreshing with a simple squeeze of citrus.
Club soda: Club soda is a totally versatile mixer that can be used in so many drinks. It's also a great alternative to sugary sodas that can be enjoyed on its own with a slice of lemon or lime.
Ginger beer: Ginger beer is a super mixer for adding a spicy kick/zing to NA cocktails. It pairs well with non-alcoholic spirits and can also be enjoyed on its own. We prefer the lower-calorie options.
Bitters: Non-alcoholic bitters are used to add depth and complexity to non-alcoholic cocktails. They come in a variety of flavors and help to create a range of different drinks when used in small amounts. Tip: We also use bitters in soda water - they're a perfect addition because they help support digestion and liver health!
Non-alcoholic or botanical spirits: There are a growing number of NA spirits available on the market, including gin, tequila, and whiskey and botanical alternatives. Some are fantastic as standalone beverages, but the majority serve as a perfect base for a variety of NA cocktails and are mixed with other ingredients to create a range of flavors and styles.
Fresh fruits and herbs: These add so much flavor and aroma to non-alcoholic cocktails and it definitely makes a difference when it's fresh. We go through a ton of lemons, limes, mint, basil, and cucumber.
Glassware: Using/offering a varied selection of glassware can absolutely make your non-alcoholic drinks feel more special! Our fave go-to options include highball glasses, martini glasses, and wine glasses.
As you become more comfortable with mixing and experimenting, you can add interesting ingredients to your bar to create even more complex and tasty alcohol-free creations! You'll find some really useful options at NA Deal Depot.
To set up a beginner's NA bar, you really don't need many tools, but a few basic pieces will certainly come in handy.
Here are 7 suggestions for handy devices we use on a regular basis:
Shaker: A cocktail shaker is absolutely necessary for mixing ingredients and creating frothy, well-blended drinks. Plus, it's a must for all bars.
Jigger: This is a key measuring device that can helps accurately mix ingredients and ensures drink consistency.
Muddler: This gadget crushes herbs and fruits in the bottom of a glass, releasing their flavors, oils and aromas - we use this tool a lot!
Mixing spoon: This long-handled utensil is really useful for stirring and mixing ingredients together in taller glasses or a shaker.
Strainer: Cocktail strainers remove solid ingredients from mixed drinks, such as herbs, fruits, and ice.
Citrus juicer: If you plan to use fresh citrus in your drinks (always recommended), a citrus juicer can make the process much easier.
Ice bucket or tray: A full supply of ice (on hand) is essential for making cold, refreshing drinks. Buckets or trays help keep ice organized and easily accessible. Tip: We also use a bucket to store glasses in the freezer for ready-to-use chilled drinks!
These bar gizmos will help you start creating a variety of non-alcoholic drinks. Of course, when you're an experienced home bartender, you can always add fun, fancy gadgets (like ice cube molds) and other equipment to expand your options.
Cheers to experimentation!